The Spartan: Book 1 of The Wolf Wars Saga

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Prisoner of Varcolac

“Ry!” Larken screamed as he ran under the black wolf and latched himself onto his leg with a giddy smile.

I was holding my breath, staying as still as possible. I lowered my eyes to the wolf’s paws, not daring to challenge him by looking him in the eye. This wasn’t my territory and I was outnumbered. Better not chance an attack by being stupid. He stopped his snarling for a moment before looking down at the little brat in oversized clothes. Upon seeing Larken alive and well, the wolf cut his eyes to me and growled in suspicion.

“I was just bringing him home.” I said evenly. “I have no intention of staying in your territory, I swear.” My body was still, but I was aching to phase so I could at least have a fighting chance if they jumped me.

“It’s true.” Larken told them. The two other wolves now flanked the black one. Their russet and sandy pelts stood out starkly against the rich midnight color of the wolf in front of me. “I got separated from my parents. Then Asenna found me and saved me from a hunter. She brought me all the way here.”

Thanks, kid. I figured I could let him sing my praises, it might just get me out of here alive. The black wolf looked me over warily, unsure of what to make of me. I knew what he was probably thinking. Here was a lone wolf, a rogue encroaching on his territory, without any arrangements or notice. This was irregular and could easily be an act of war. Too bad I didn’t have any backup if this pack decided that was the case. He started circling me, analyzing me, taking in my scent. He was taking full stock of the potential opponent in front of him. I could feel his breath against my human skin and felt incredibly vulnerable.

Don’t phase, Asenna. Don’t do it. I repeated it in my head like a mantra, hoping it would help me stay in control. I could feel my nails trying to shift into claws and clenched my fists tightly.

Next thing I knew, the black wolf was lunging at me and my animal instincts put an end to my feeble human control. Faster than I could process, my wolf erupted from my clothes, reducing them the shreds of cloth. I was in my element now. I ducked low to the ground as the black wolf went flying over me. When his paws touched down, he rounded on me again, even angrier than before. But I was ready for him this time. I met him with the full force of my strength.

His jaws searched for my throat, biting frantically along the way. I used his massive weight to throw him off balance, slashing my claws across his shoulder. He was starting to buckle beneath my twisting body, that’s when I felt my back legs come out from under me. The sandy colored wolf had body slammed my back half and sent me jolting sideways. The two of them were coming at me from above, claws extended, and fangs bared.

I sprung forward and launched myself into their underbellies. I felt, rather than heard, the air rush out of their lungs. They dropped to the ground, gasping to regain their breath, but recovered too quickly for my liking. I growled and turned to confront them again, but my peripheral vision caught sight of a little tawny wolf running straight for us. The brat. The weight of just one full grown wolf would crush him, but three? He was running straight into a train wreck.

My back legs catapulted me towards Larken, three wolves now snapping at my heels. I wrapped my large form around the little wolf, tucking him into my underbelly and positioning my legs like guardrails around him. The three wolves landed on me before noticing the pipsqueak that was curled beneath me. I winced and gritted my teeth as I felt their claws and fangs ripping into me. I could feel every slice of flesh, every stream of blood, every tear of my fur. Just as quickly as they had started, they stopped. My legs were shaking, my breathing was heavy, and my rage was boiling. I kept my hunkered position over Larken and snarled from my low stance. I went through a lot of trouble to get this brat here and I’d be damned if I let one of these idiots get him killed before he made it home.

Larken, are you okay?” I spoke to him through the mind link.

“Y-yeah… I’m okay.” He whimpered. “Asenna…there’s blood.”

The three wolves were standing back, still in a ready position, but were studying me and Larken with curious eyes. Their amber eyes flickered between each other before they stepped closer to us.

“Larken, let’s go.” The black wolf said. The little bundle beneath me stirred and I raised myself up to let him free. His tawny fur was wet with blood- my blood. “You.” The black wolf pulled my attention back to him. “You’re coming with us.”

I growled and flattened my ears. “I think I’ll pass.”

“That wasn’t a request.” He snarled as the russet and sandy wolf flanked me, pressing their shoulders into mine. I was weak, injured, and wasn’t left with any options.

Fuck.

“So why am I having to come with you exactly?” I grumbled. The wolves were escorting me and Larken through the woods, but Larken was definitely getting the more hospitable end of the deal. Figures.

“You can meet my mom and dad!” Larken yipped.

“Larken.” The black wolf was growling and had his hackles raised. “She’s not a guest.” He looked back to me, sandwiched between his two comrades. “You’re going straight to my father. He will want to decide your fate for himself.”

Well that’s rather ominous. I rolled my eyes and huffed in annoyance. I should’ve known something would go wrong.

“Look I didn’t even know where your territory started. I was just trying to get the kid home.” It wasn’t the first time I had tried reasoning with them since we started our journey to the pack’s town. But, like my previous attempts, it was useless. My words were falling on deaf ears.

Larken looked back at me with pity, his tail tucked between his legs.

“It’s okay brat.” I assured him. I’d make it out of here. One way or another.

We came to a clearing that held what I suspected to be their pack’s town. If by “town”, you meant an extensive and elaborate city, then sure…. Town. My ears shot up and I couldn’t stop my eyes from scanning every inch of the scenery. I had to admit, it was beautiful. Modern, sleek buildings surrounded a central manor of elegant, old stone. It gleamed in the setting sunlight and the whole city was bathed in the warm orange glow. There were werewolves in their wolf and human forms alike milling around the outskirts, I heard laughing, and happy voices. It was picture perfect. And yet, I was ready to run in the opposite direction.

The black wolf turned to look at me and this time, I dared to look him dead in the eye. He was surprised and looked taken aback. He obviously wasn’t accustomed to others regarding him as their equal. His eyes narrowed as they trailed over my wolf form, and I couldn’t help but notice how he focused in on the scar on my shoulder. I shifted my stance to hide it from his view.

“Welcome to the city of Varcolac- home to the Royal Pack.” He said. My heart stalled out for a minute. No fucking way was he for real. “My name is Ryker- the Alpha Prince of Varcolac- and you are hereby placed under immediate Royal guard.”

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